Thom Sherman, senior executive vice president of programming at CBS Entertainment, revealed to reporters during the Television Critics Association summer press tour Tuesday that Hayes' character will be killed off at the beginning of next season.
"[Her] character will pass away and we will be moving forward in time, catching up at a later date," he said.
Hayes, who played the wife of Kevin James' character, will be replaced by actress Leah Remini, James' co-star on the long-running sitcom The King of Queens, where she played his wife. On Kevin Can Wait, Remini plays Vanessa Cellucci, an old police department rival of Kevin's. They worked together on a long-term sting operation that required them to pose as husband and wife.
When asked if Kevin Can Wait is morphing into another version of the landmark CBS comedy, Sherman said, "No, I don't think so. I think the show speaks for itself and stands for itself." However, he did note that the chemistry between James and Remini "was amazing in the stunt episodes" that aired at the end of Kevin Can Wait's freshman season and the network "decided to continue that chemistry."
Kevin Can Wait returns Monday, Oct. 2 at 9/8c on CBS.
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